Using technology to fight debt, says BoT

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Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput delivers a speech at the Future of the Financial System virtual forum.

Digital technology should be used to tackle household debt and make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access loans, said Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput.

He added that 80% of Thai households are in debt and 60% of SMEs do not have access to loans.

Digital technology has created new players in the financial industry and is bringing radical changes to the financial competition landscape, Mr. Sethaput said.

As a regulator, the central bank has played a role in promoting an open data environment, an open competition landscape, and open infrastructures that foster fluid competition, he said on Monday at the meeting. ” an online seminar focused on the future of the financial system, organized by the Nation group. .

Recently, the central bank revealed that it plans to test its retail central bank digital currency (retail CBDC) in the second quarter of 2022, allowing all related parties to participate in the testing process.

The central bank has researched and interviewed the implementation of retail CBDCs with all stakeholders, including consumers, financial institutions, traders, the public sector and others.

The central bank governor added that there had been a dramatic change in Thailand’s financial landscape over the past 10 years. There were currently around 75 million mobile bank accounts, up from 500,000 ten years ago.

Electronic payment transactions have jumped to an average of 251 transactions per person per year today, up from 17 annual transactions per person a decade ago.

Money transfers through the online banking system have reached 9.6 billion transactions per year, up from 95 million per year over ten years ago.

Another speaker, Payong Srivanich, chairman of the Thai Bankers Association, said using digital technology to solve household debt would be one way to create sustainable economic growth.

According to the association’s vision for the next three years, it wants to help create sustainable economic growth, increasing the efficiency of the financial system and improving the quality of life of Thais, he added.

Another speaker, the chief executive of Siam Commercial Bank, Arthid Nanthawithaya, said the Covid-19 pandemic had caused people to rush to use online banking on a scale never seen before, so that the business sector should respond to this changing consumer. behviour.


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